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Life & Work with Margo Tumashyk

Today we’d like to introduce you to Margo Tumashyk.

Hi Margo, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and immigrated to the US in summer 2015. My early life in Ukraine was mostly joyful because I was not thinking about any problems that grown-ups had and was living in a fun little bubble along with my friends and classmates. However, at the same time, I was raised by a single mother who constantly worked overtime to sustain the family. I had to witness her struggling and living on a very low budget. I found my own way to escape negative emotions by emerging into the art world that would allow me to preserve my childish light-heartedness. I moved to California the same year when I made the decision to dedicate myself to pursue an art career. At that time, I did not speak English and had to fully adapt to a new culture and lifestyle. Since childhood, I remained an open-minded person who’s always ready to learn more about new cultures and communicate with people who went through different experiences.

As the result of countless hours of studying English and overcoming some of my fears, it took me two years to become a part of the new world I live in now. Despite making it sound easy, I myself went through social struggles such as fear to speak up that I’m still fighting today. My art spoke for me instead. I simply loved to make people happy by showing or giving them cute drawings that would make their day slightly better. This is the reason why I want to dedicate my life to working on games, movies, or any other similar entertainment industry. After a long day or a stressful situation, I want people to see a project that I worked on, forget about their own inner worries, and simply have fun. I’m not taking a role of an activist, gallery artist, advocate, etc. but rather a content creator who’s trying to make people feel a wide range of emotions from seeing my artworks. Currently, I am an artist who is enrolled as a student at CSULB majoring in animation. Being a young college student allows me to experiment with different styles and mediums as well as enjoy being surrounded by creative individuals with their own unique views that further spark my motivation to create.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Definitely, my road wasn’t smooth. The biggest challenge is handling public opinion, stereotypes, and the overall perception of art and artists. Unfortunately, art is still devalued by many people. This is quite ironic because no one can live in a full world without entertainment, movies, music, stories, books, dance, designer clothing, interior designs, crafts, etc. Throughout my whole life, I felt slightly pressured to focus on finding a “real job” or pursuing a “real degree” in engendering, medical, or computer science fields. It took me a while to accept the idea that working in a scientific field would not bring me joy as much as sketching cute cats and painting landscapes. Now I believe that the art world is a fascinating place and a new generation of artists is working on changing the stereotypes about broke artists. Besides psychological pressure, there were also technical struggles with learning how to use 3d software and editing tools. I still have a large list of programs that I want to learn for making more video content. Being a partially self-taught artist is another difficult situation because no one is there to help fix mistakes or show a more efficient strategy. Forming or joining an art community can definitely help with keeping the motivation to learn and get suggestions from other artists.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I specialize in digital and traditional drawing and painting. My attention is centered on the design of environments and surrounding elements because I love to create nonexistent worlds that are visually exciting. Additionally, I draw and animate characters for my future short film. I’m other words, I’m focusing on the visual developments of a storyline. Ironically, back when I tried drawing as a kid, I flipped the table and yelled “I hate art, I’m not doing it ever again.” I was deeply frustrated because I could not draw well like other kids in my grade. My mother was extremely upset because she wanted me to practice art as she did at my age. It took me a year before I became inspired rather than discouraged by others. I’m proud that I overcame my hatred toward art despite the constant failure. I was able to make drawing a fun practice rather than a boring learning process, which motivated me to keep going. Currently, I learn from other artists and explore as much information as possible to come up with my own unique voice. My color style sets me apart from others. I tend to paint worlds that are brighter, colorful, therefore more emotionally impactful. It’s almost as if I see the ordinary scenes around me through a saturation filter. Just like kids see the world more colorful, I automatically paint in a bright, lively manner.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
A lot of people who only know me on the surface level would call me intimidating. But I’m actually a very outgoing person who loves to spend time with people and learn from their experiences. In fact, I sometimes might be intimidated by others more than they intimidated by me.

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Image Credits:

The photograph of Margo Tumashyk is taken by Fiona Hsu.

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